Publisher: Thalion
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in Zzap #66


Atomix isn't only a puzzle game, it's an educational puzzle game with the aim of the game being to arrange scattered atoms so they form a molecule. The game has thirty levels, each consisting of a static playfield, the walls of which can both hinder and help you in your task. The shape of the molecule you must replicate is shown on the left of the screen, together with time remaining level and points scored. By using mouse or joystick you must move the scattered atoms so they form the molecule. Sounds simple, huh?

Unfortunately, once you start to move an atom - either horizontally or vertically - it won't stop until it hits a wall or another atom. The trick is find a place in the playfield where there's room to fit the whole molecule, and the walls are there to support it. You can also use other atoms to get the right shape. Once you complete the molecule the time limit is multiplied to provide bonus points. As you progress through the game the molecules get more and more complex.

If you fail to complete a molecule in time you get an opportunity to continue-play at the cost of a certain amount of points deducted from your score. If your score isn't high enough then it's back to the beginning.


After every five levels there's a bonus round where flasks must be arranged in order, running from an empty flask to a full one.

There are also three skill levels, which simply reduce the number of times you're given per level, and a cooperative two-player mode. In this mode, players take turns, each having up to thirty seconds to make their move.


Zero marks to Thalion for originality: Atomix's roots begin in those sliding tile games (invented Lord knows how many decades ago) and were tweaked for Logotron's two Xor games and Entertainment International's Leonardo, which gave space to manoeuvre and perpetual motion to the concept.


Thalion have tried to be scientific and indeed, although backgrounds are simple, formula components are neat and work well, and the buzzing noise they make as they're shifted is great.

Personally, however, this type of game leaves me cold; I'd much rather blast a few ships or slay a few monsters than fiddle around with some silly old formulae. It's fine to while away an hour or so but I wouldn't pay good money for it.


I saw an early version of this and thought it looked incredibly boring. Okay, there's some good puzzle action but it looks very dull. Unfortunately, once you actually play the game it turns out to be completely addictive.


The night after a hard day's play I was dreaming about how to move the atoms around! As with Welltris and Klax, thinking about things helps, but most of the time you're acting on instinct just as much as in a normal arcade game.

It's incredibly satisfying completing a molecule and impossible to leave the game until you've finished it. In fact it isn't that difficult to complete, Robin's done it already on 'easy' difficulty, but going for a high score provides some lasting challenge - and it really is great fun to play.

If it were cheaper, or had sixty levels and more bonus levels this would be an essential buy. The C64 graphics could also be a bit better, but it's still great fun to play. Superb fun and well worth a look.

Verdict (C64)


Presentation 62%
Three skill levels, attractive loading screen and an okay two player mode. So far levels are just one load, but restart requires reloading of intro screen on disk.

Graphics 40%
A bit dull and repetitive, but fast and effective.

Sound 74%
Vaguely familiar but very nice soundtrack.


Hookability 76%
Takes a few goes to get hooked, but thereafter impossible to leave alone...

Lastability 79%
...and thirty levels provide quite a bit of challenge.

Overall 76%
An extremely playable puzzle game.

Verdict (Amiga)


Presentation 60%
Three skill levels, but two-player mode isn't that useful.

Graphics 45%
Simplistic, but slick and effective.

Sound 52%
Minimalistic but attractive sound FX.


Hookability 77%
As with the C64, soon becomes utterly compulsive.

Lastability 74%
A bit easier, with slightly clearer graphics and time limits seem more generous.

Overall 76%
A brilliantly playable little puzzle game.